Today we’re continuing on with the how of being in God’s word. We know we need Him. We know His word is life to us. If you missed the first post (here), set aside some time to read and pray through that first. Then grab a warrior’s snack and come back to this post to talk about fleshing this out.
I know many of you might be thinking this: Colette, I totally get that studying and knowing God’s word is important now, but how in the world, in the midst of this chaos, can we add in one more thing? I have zippety-do-da moments to myself in the day. And if I do get those, I’m thinking staring at a wall sounds very intriguing.
And I get that. Girl, do I ever. But I want to lead us into a different way of thinking. I want to invite you to pray for a hunger for God and for His word again. Rather than it being something we have to add to our long list of to-dos for the day and areas to feel like we have failed once again, I want us to pray that our desire for God and His word would grow.
But hear me out, don’t just wait for that feeling. For feeling a love for God and then jumping into His word. Because I truly believe learning more about who God is through His word will grow our love for Him, and we will become hungrier and hungrier for truth.
Jen Wilkin, Bible teacher and author of “Women of the Word”, says it likes this, “…the heart cannot love what the mind does not know. As we feast on it more and more, as our minds grow in the knowledge of God and His beautiful meta-narrative of creation, fall, redemption and restoration, our hearts will begin to grow in delight.”
So what will this look like?
1. We need to learn how to study God’s word and begin to rightly study God’s word.
The Bible was not formed as a one-minute devotional. I think so often we come to the word for a spiritual and emotional fix and anticipate to leave ready to take on the day. That’s not what the Bible was made to do. It can do that at times, but we do it an injustice when we constantly approach it as such. That makes it all about us. The Bible is a book about God, primarily. Jen Wilkin describes what we often have as the drive-thru mentality. We expect to come to the word, pay a little, and get a nice cheeseburger and fries to last us a few hours. Chicken soup for the soul. But we need to be viewing God’s word as a sit-down, 5-course meal. Where we savor and study and speak to the chef and learn about the dishes being placed before us.
The best way we can do this is to take one book of the Bible and camp in it. Meditate on it. Learn about the setting and history, look up words in the English dictionary, understand the author’s intent and what it means for us today.
Now, girls, this might not look like a set aside 5:30 am to 7:30 am study time every morning. I get that. It’s going to look different for us. But maybe you can schedule one night to yourself each week to do a greater study of the passage and then continue to read through and absorb it throughout the rest of the week.
2. Meet with a small group to dig deeper into God’s word.
Be active in a local church. We need to be hearing the word of God preached and discussing our studies in greater depth in a community. Having that accountability will help to keep us steady in the word. It also helps us know if our interpretation is correct or straying away from the text.
It seems to be a growing trend that mothers of young children hold off engaging with a church until the kids grow out of naps and are on an easier schedule. Yes, your child may be crankier the next day. They might have a delayed lunch or throw an all-out tantrum in the parking lot. I know it is not easy, but I promise you, the fruits and rewards of diving into real community and being active in a local church are completely worth it. The blessings outweigh the difficulties and frustrations.
3. Keep Bibles opened around your home.
I’m keeping with the food analogies here. It’s like those times when you get to go on a fancy date with your husband. And you’re looking at the menu and thinking the salad or maybe some small chicken dish. But then you see the gigantic steak at the table next to you. You didn’t even know you were hungry for it until you smelled the aroma and beheld the sizzling goodness.
This is one of those practices that really does help. If you walk by and notice the Bible opened, your eyes can catch a few verses, and you’re more likely to stop and read it in the in-between times.
Keep your Bible opened in an area you pass by often. And if you have more than one, spread them out, opened, around the house.
4. Memorize it.
Memorizing helps us to meditate, to have it consistently on our minds. And doing that in chapters or chunks helps us to know it in its context. Janet Pope wrote a very helpful book on how to do this in the midst of the young mothering days. We can memorize when we do the laundry, when we sit with the kids at the playground or wait in the pick-up line. Do it with your kids along with hand motions and songs. It’s as simple as putting down our phones and picking up verses in the down times. Choosing to spend ourselves on something of eternal value in a moment we could waste on fleeting pleasures. Now, I say simple, but it’s a battle, moms. It’s hard. But possible.
5. Read and study the Bible with your kids.
Sometimes getting away just isn’t going to happen. Our kids need to see how important God’s word is to us. You don’t have to wait until there’s utter silence to dive in. Read it in front of them, to them. Talk about the truths you’ve been learning.
6. Lastly, listen to and sing about it.
If you’re in a stage of life when your hands are often tied, download an app that allows you to listen to the Bible read. The Holy Bible and ESV apps both have these options included. This is a great way to absorb Scripture while nursing, exercising, or doing household chores. Even in the car!
Hymns are just rich with spiritual truth and God’s word. Incorporate singing into your work time and play time with the kids. Find songs that sing verses. Songs that point you to the gospel and who God is.
Friends, if you read these posts and remember nothing more, I want you to hear this. Don’t forsake God’s word in this season. You don’t know if you’ll even get to the next season, really. As a child of God, you have everything within you to choose Him, to choose His word. And we need it. More than our minds can know. We need Him. And our kids need Him. We have the blessed opportunity to point them to the gracious God that has rescued us and redeemed us.
Satan wants us to see the poop stains and feel the pull on our shorts and smell the vomit in the carpet and throw in the towel. He wants us to run away to Facebook and Netflix and chick-flicks and forsake the merciful, loving God, who loves us in our mess. We need Jesus, Moms. And we need God’s word as an anchor of truth and a reminder of what is eternal.
I want to leave you with Psalm 1. And as I write, I am praying this over you. I would love for you to read this out loud with me. See the pictures that the Psalmist is painting of what our lives can be like rooted in the rich soil of God’s word.
“How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not survive the judgment, and sinners will not be in the community of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.”
Rather than the way of sinners and the advice of others, I pray we will choose to be rooted and established in the word of God. That we will delight in Him and His word, even in the midst of the craziness we call life. And that, in due season, we will have drawn from His waters so deeply and so consistently, that our roots go down deep and that we will bear fruit to the glory of His name. Useful. Thriving. Because we are anchored in His word and know Him in such beautiful and intimate ways.
*Many of these thoughts and teachings were a result of listening to podcasts from Revive our Hearts. I’m so thankful for their commitment to teaching the word of God.